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Betty Cohen suffered from migraines for 35 years. Due to the intensity of the migraines, she had to stop everything she was doing when a headache came. Moreover, she often needed serious painkillers.
She became a prisoner of her own suffering, with episodes were amplified by nausea and vomiting. She had to miss out on trips, social events, and time with her family, all the while taking pill after pill. Simply put, she numbed her senses in the hopes of finding some calm inside the storm.
Her Baby Had Issues Too:
“When my oldest daughter was born: She would cry nonstop. In fact, her screams would wake up the neighbors in the middle of the night,” Betty recounts.
Despite trying a number of solutions, she was unable to find something that helped. They would later find out that the helpless baby was suffering from celiac disease, with a high sensitivity to porridge and excruciating side effects, attacking her day and night. And so, her daughter’s food sensitivity shuffled the cards and changed the course of her life:
Her Headaches Worsened:
Following this short introduction and after Betty realized what she’s dealing with, she decided to reach out to her healthcare provider: “I told the doctor that I have been getting migraines and she did not seem to really converse or ask me questions, and did not send me to get tested for anything. She just went with my self-diagnosis. She prescribed me some Migraine pills, which were stronger than the over-the counter medicine I was taking, and promised they would make it better”.
A few years later, still getting regular headaches, Betty began work in the corrections field.
The days became longer, and every morning as she arrived at work, Betty had to go through door after door, x-rays and checkups, all designed to prevent potential smuggling in and out of the prison. “One day I got an extremely harsh migraine. The pill I had taken prevented some of the episodes, but not this one.
I had to get a doctor’s note, just so I could go through the exhausting chain of doors and checkups again and go home. When I got to the clinic, I was as pale as snow, and my eyes were glazed over. That was the first time a doctor ever asked me if I was properly diagnosed or tested. He let me go with an urgent referral to a neurologist.”
After a CT scan, EEG, and visual field tests came back normal and didn’t indicate any tumors or other neurological disorders, the doctor prescribed stronger pills. “It’s something you can’t see and you need to give it a name. This field wasn’t advanced at the time and I was repeatedly told it was only psychosomatic. I’ve been living like this ever since, on pills.”
Change for the Better:
Betty began to notice certain foods and times of year would set here symptoms off.
Refusing to Live on Pills, and accompanied by the feeling that her pills were eating her up inside, disrupting her memory and messing up her mind, Betty knew she couldn’t keep on going this way.
An online ad promoting food intolerance testing piqued her interest.
She had a hard time believing the type of foods she was consuming were the cause for her crushing headaches, but she decided to try it.
“They found out I had sensitivities to eggs, cow’s milk and yeast. When I took those out of my diet, the migraines started seeming further and further away, in both frequency and intensity. After two months, I felt like they went away completely.”
As a descendant of a family from the Balkan region, a Turkish father and a Greek mother, Betty had to part ways with traditional dishes: pies, eggs and cheeses. She did not pause to feel sorry for herself. She read up, did some research, and even found a dietitian with whom she discovered alternatives to every food she was sensitive to.
“It’s a switch I had to make. My quality of life was at stake and there was no alternative.
You can get by anywhere if you really want to, when traveling and in restaurants. At first, my sister asked me: ‘How do you do it? How can you give up on all of it?’, but now she’s going to get tested too. It’s easy to tell that I feel great, and that I’m not sick like before.”
Betty stopped taking the medications that were once a part of her routine. She enjoys pain-free days and a new youthful-figure that makes everyone around her aware of the positive changes she underwent.
“I came in for my migraines and ended up with a toned body as well.”
Armed with a new wardrobe, she recommends the test to anyone looking to better understand their body, clear up the internal mess, and get rid of unexplained symptoms. “I’m going to keep at it! It’s a form of self-torture when you eat the wrong things for your body. You can get used to eating differently, healthier and better! There is no other way.”
Emma Lloyd was having embarrassing repeat trips daily to the bathroom with IBS symptoms. She is a mother of five. It was hard to care for her family as she was often over-taken by stomach cramps and had to run to the restroom.
“I have serial diarrhea – the food comes out, doesn’t digest, flows out like water” she explains. It started out of nowhere when she was twenty, and had increased over the years from four, to five, to seven times a day. She would report to her work at a law firm, armed with a handy washroom kit – wet wipes, pantyliners and even gloves. “I became a neat freak – every time I had to go I wanted to jump into the shower – I was afraid of infections. It hurt and burned, all the time”.
She found hormones might be a factor.
“When I got pregnant it [the symptoms] would instantly stop but the moment I gave birth and was transferred to the maternity ward, it started up again. The doctors were baffled and couldn’t explain my condition”. Exhausted she said to herself ”Why Is This Happening to Me?”
With excellent blood test results in hand, Emma met with her primary care physician who could not understand how she kept having diarrhea without losing any weight as well as maintaining normal ranges in her bloodwork. She sent her to a celiac test, an H. pylori test, sigmoidoscopy and hormonal balancing. When all the tests came back normal, Lloyd was sent to the gastroenterology clinic, where she was prescribed anti-diarrheal medication for a three-month period to fight off the restlessness in her bowls. “I refused to take them, I felt poisoned, the doctors didn’t have an answer so they pointed their fingers at internal body stress”. One specialist recommended she take sedative pills and another claimed that since she was a quick, energetic person, her stomach was trying to keep up by digesting at blazing speed. They asked Emma to try and relax and kept using the term “IBS”-Irritable Bowel Syndrome. “The word irritable made me so irritable that I changed it to sensitive bowel”, she says.
Feeling Abandoned by the healthcare system, Emma turned to alternative medicine: Acupuncture; reflexology; and probiotic pills. However, her state was getting worse and worse.
The first ray of light in years, came from a naturopath who changed her diet and instructed her to immediately eliminate gluten, coffee, sugar, soy, dairy and yeast from her diet. “I’d get up in the morning and have no idea what to eat. Slowly, I got used to it. Suddenly, I was feeling better, so I knew there was truth to it”. Accompanied by the naturopath who had become her new mentor, Emma kept to her strict new diet and felt great for four whole years.
Then…On a day like any other, her familiar stomach cramps suddenly decided to pay her a visit, and sent the terrified Emma running to the bathroom: “I thought I was going to lose my mind, I couldn’t stop it. Five, six, seven, eight times a day. I called my mom crying and asked her to take the kids, I simply gave up”.
Back at Zero
An urgent call to the naturopath lead to deep disappointment, when the same old stale advice played in her ears: “Relax, you’re stressed out, let go”. “I’m petite, I’m barely 115 lbs. I don’t have anything left to let go of”, Emma recounts. At the height of the crisis, an article about food intolerance testing that popped up on her Facebook feed, and gave her a sliver of hope. She asked to speak to other people who have already taken the innovative test, and when her investigation was concluded, she decided to give it a try for herself. Later, when the test results came back, she was astonished by the long list of foods she was found sensitive to.
Her New Kitchen Coaching: Welcome Aid:
She followed the guidelines given by the Nutritionists and Doctors, who help with ImmuFood.
She was, diligent and determined, and assembled a new world of flavors. “It was such a high, I still can’t put this feeling into words, I didn’t think my body could change so fast”. Instead of lemons she now uses apple cider vinegar to dress her salads (“The kids run away screaming, they call it ‘foot juice’”). This week she tried raw sweet potatoes and a new bread from buckwheat flour, that she grinds and bakes herself.
Patiently and cautiously she has started incorporating some of the banned foods back into her diet, all the while examining her stomach feelings and keeping a “foods & symptoms” log.
She recommends our test even to the most skeptical people in her life, along with listening to your body and staying aware of the direct correlation between the foods we consume and our physical state. “I learned a life lesson and went on a journey. My body tries to fix and heal itself, and I’m learning how to listen, and be there to help”.
l’ll be 30 in a month, but it’s only this year that I really started living.
I had years of itching, 18 to be exact, which have now come to an end. I hope I can shed some light on this troubling condition that can drive you crazy and above all, be complicated to explain. I was 12 years-old and I was ashamed to tell anyone when the itching began. I didn’t even want to tell my mom so I decided to find a solution on my own. I applied some of my baby sister’s diaper rash cream on it and stepped out of the bathroom feeling somewhat satisfied.
This was the first time it happened – The Itch.
Ever since then, it came to visit me nearly every day. When it started flaring up at night and kept me awake, I would tell my mom. Wee wee, foo foo, kitty, vagina – bum, buttocks, butt, behind – in between them.
The doctor examined the little area between the anus and the vagina, but didn’t find anything and prescribed nothing but steroids.
My new steroid cream worked like a charm. When I applied it on the itch, it would pack up and go on vacation for a few days. During this time, I prayed it would fall in love with its new destination and never decide to come back. The steroids went everywhere with me. I imagined them to be an army of bodyguards. Big body builders in red Speedos (who also take steroids) who successfully secured the area. With them around, that little island of skin became thin and sensitive to every movement.
When my skin broke out, I taught myself to pee leaning forward at a precise angle, to avoid the burning sensation.
The first time I heard the word “perineum” was when I ended up at the ER, vomiting and scratching, an itch so bad that the only solution was to rip the skin off.
And so I did, the doctors didn’t find anything and decided: a biopsy.
They cut a layer of the perineum, and recommended cotton mesh underwear and a fan, that would help me and my wounded perineum breathe.
The biopsy came back clean, “It’s not cancer!” they said. I didn’t even know that was what they were testing for. I stuck to the mesh underwear until my skin rejuvenated and got a bit thicker, and when it did – the itch was back.
Familiar lyrics accompanied the same old melody as the vaginal health specialist declared: This is actually a contact induced skin inflammation.
“I know you girls,” she said as she pulled out a ready-made pamphlet from her drawer: cotton underwear, change your detergent, cold baths, no itching because it’s a cycle, use steroids, it will get easier.
I found myself dazed as I moved through my everyday life in-between complete avoidance of the area and despair that ensued. Then I decided – I could not live like this anymore.
Chinese and Indian medicine, ointments that were concocted especially for me, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs and more herbs, frequency medicine, theta healing, biofeedback, pharmacists, therapists, healers, books, veganism, classes, methods – I tried to reach a new level of self-awareness, to get to the real meaning behind the pain.
The itch spoke up in all areas of my life and became the symbol of femininity, sexuality, my ability to express myself and my self-image.
When I didn’t speak my mind,– the itch would scream it for me. It was the one deciding how I felt about my sexuality, and it attached itself to the suffering behind the food on my plate and how much water I drank every day.
It took on any meaning I gave it, and I managed to see it in a new light. We grew together.
Two months back, my mom excitedly told me about a diagnostic blood test that measures food intolerance at the Immufood Lab.
I approached every new test with the optimistic hope for change. This one was no different.
The results of the test solved the riddle I was trapped in for years – 18 years.
That’s it. Just one word. An innocent protein that created a world in which I couldn’t breathe or couldn’t have intercourse. Nothing could get me a diagnosis before. I only got disappointments, stress, and spent so much money. Gluten.
I hugged the little girl that I was, sitting alone at my parent’s bathroom, and whispered in her ear to let go of the PB&J sandwich and be patient, because we win at the end.
The itch packed its belongings and left. Thankfully, it went not just for a vacation, but for good.
Pictured: sailing into the horizon itch free.
“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food, until the day comes when doctors start attending lectures about nutrition, and leave their own self-interest out of it. Pay attention – the solution might be right under your nose – in your plate.“
Following his mother’s advice, Berger came into the WLAB facilities for a “food intolerance test”, and for the first time got clear answers to the questions he has been screaming out from an early age: “The results weren’t comforting” Ariel laughs, “I showed sensitivities to 76 different foods, but for once it’s something I can actually understand and change – it’s about food and not every single element in my environment.”
Ariel had had issues for years. Conventional medicine offered Berger only one solution – a steroid cream he would go on to use regularly for many years. The cream managed to calm the area, but didn’t help with the ongoing itch: “I got used to living with it, but if I sweat, the next day it would all come back”.
With open wounds and a growing frustration Ariel reached out to a relative who was an acupuncturist.
The needles gave him significant relief but when the relative passed away, Ariel was back to square one: “I couldn’t find someone else, it didn’t work on me as well as it did with him”. “The inflammation affected his groin and armpit areas, places that don’t breathe as much and sweat more than others”, the 27-year-old Berger recalls the itchy dry patches that would emerge on his skin: “It started on my feet first, when I was a kid. During severe flare-ups – I had a hard time walking”. He went through allergy testing time but never got a clear answer – “I walked around with allergy test pads stuck to my back for three days, when they were removed I was red all over and was told I might be allergic to the adhesive, so they distributed it differently. I tried again and again, but I always ended up red all over – it just didn’t make any sense”.
Surprisingly, his food intolerance test he recently took revealed sensitivities to many of the star ingredients in his restaurant’s menu, as well as his own personal diet.
Ariel Berger, owns a Mediterranean restaurant in Southern California. He followed his passionate love for this great cuisine.
Chickpeas, tahini, eggs and even parsley, common dish elements, were now off his list. With a heavy heart, he stopped eating the dishes he was so proud to serve, and he is now trying to use his new nutrition plan to put an end to his atopic dermatitis, which he has had since childhood.Beef, mold, ink, wheat, cotton – Ariel was diagnosed with sensitivities to a long and disheartening list of items from different fields and could not avoid contact with them all.
He lost 5 lbs. in the first month of his new diet, along with the pounds lost, he also lessened the use of his steroid cream: “I cut out everything at once, for three months I didn’t touch any of the foods I was found sensitive to. Now, I’m trying to slowly incorporate items back into the menu. Sometimes it’s hard, if we go out for a family dinner we need to worry about having specific items for me to eat. If someone invites me out to eat or if I go to a friend’s house for dinner, I make sure I grab a bite before I leave or I only eat the things I’m able to. It sounds complicated, but it’s not the end of the world”.
With a calm body and a new hope for a life without his chronic condition, Ariel recommends the test to anyone who is looking for answers and willing to take the leap towards good health: “I have found the right path, I’m on my way”.
Shir A, a licensed naturopath, suffered fourteen long and exhausting years of gastric issues. Despite her rich experience and faith in the body’s natural healing abilities, she had a hard time putting her finger on the cause behind her ongoing symptoms.“Let’s go back in time. Fourteen years ago I underwent a failed surgery, as a result of which, part of my intestine had to be removed. For 3 weeks I was only fed intravenously and used a colon drainage tube –my intestines weren’t functioning and went through a sort of an aggressive cleanse. From my experience, once the body gets rid of a toxin, it refuses to consume it again.
I have always been a healthy eater, but it turns out, that even those kinds of things can hurt us. What I used to eat before the surgery didn’t fit my body anymore. I underwent countless tests and treatments and took medications to calm the irritable bowel syndrome I was diagnosed with, but nothing helped.
The diagnosis the doctors gave me was correct but they didn’t find the real cause behind it. Apart from experiencing skin irritation, I had all the symptoms of gluten sensitivity on a daily basis – diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and stomach pain. But I never suspected it to be food related since I never had that problem before” Shir says.
Followers of naturopathic medicine believe that you can heal a person and avoid illnesses by encouraging the healing mechanisms of the body. This is encouraged by designing a healthier way of life rooted in nutrition, medicinal herbs, essential oils and exercise with an emphasis on the mind-body connection.
“Since I come from this field, I tried to help myself in various different ways. One of them was the “food intolerance test”, which showed me exactly what I should be doing. At that moment, something clicked and I realized what my body was trying to tell me.
Every food on the list I got was instantly removed from my menu and I felt an improvement within a week. My years of experience as a naturopath have taught me that 95% of ailments stem from food. Now, 3.5 months after the test, I am living the change”.
Before doing our testing, Leanna Hull, had been suffering from stomach aches & pains for the past 10 years.
When the medication she was prescribed for her irritable bowel syndrome stopped working, she invented a creative solution of her own. She would lie on her bloated stomach until the pain subsided. “I tried to mind what I ate, but it did not help. Often my stomach would even hurt in my sleep. Once it was bloated it would stay that way for a couple of days. I would look like if I were 8 months pregnant.”
“Apart from the pain, I was also uncomfortable in my own skin and tried to hide my stomach. I wouldn’t wear tight shirts and opted for only loose ones. If my bowels started acting up during an intense school day while I was in class and couldn’t lie down, I’d circle my navel with my palm, until the pain was bearable.”
Along with using her own tactics to alleviate her pain, she incorporated the doctor’s suggestion and would take a pill before every meal. “It was very frustrating. The pills opened up my appetite and I had to eat within 30 minutes of taking them.”
“At the time I thought, I felt good. But now I know what good actually feels like. “
“For instance, it was nearly impossible for me to lose weight. Now the weight just comes right off.”
Hull repeats, “I feel good now” excitedly, like a mantra, when she speaks of her pain-free life after the food intolerance test.
“It takes some time to get used to standing, and reading the label on every item at the grocery store, but it’s worth it. I met a few girls in school who have the same problem with different food items and we discussed alternatives.
My mom went in to get tested right after me, she came in with thyroid issues and red marks on her skin and she’s already feeling a difference.”
”The next generation of medicine confidently states and this is a quote:
“Get tested. It will change your life”.
Margot Grant, began having strong headaches when she was just 5-years-old.
As years passed by, the frequency and intensity of her headaches increased and reached to a point when the migraines would overpower her several times a month. “I would go to work, function out of necessity, do only what I had to and go straight home, get into bed and stay there for a few days until it subsided.”
“I exhausted every possible idea under the sun, every doctor and method, in an attempt to solve the problem. I stopped having gluten and sugar, and at the same time took probiotics for a separate stomach issue from one person.I did acupuncture treatments from another. I changed my menu completely following a third person’s recommendation and took a diet by blood type approach. As a result, I ended up removing more and more foods from my diet because I didn’t know what triggered my issues.”
Before taking the test at Immufood, Grant went back to eating all of the foods she had not touched in years, for a period of ten days.
The test covers foods that have been consumed in the six months prior to it and Margot wanted to make sure she had all her bases covered, “I took the test and the results showed eleven food items that were actually on my menu all along the way. There were foods I never suspected like sesame, pineapple, cherries, agave, eggs, green beans, and a lot more things that I would eat in heaps. They tell you those are healthy so you think there shouldn’t be a problem, but as it turns out – my body doesn’t agree,” she says.
“I was advised by the clinic to remove all of the food items for five weeks, then integrate them into the menu one at a time every four days to see how I would feel. I did all of it. I kept a strict diet for the entire period and I was amazed by what happened to my body.”
“Ever since I can remember, one of the nails on my left hand only grows out half an inch before it splits. It’s been twenty years since I’ve seen it grow beyond that, since I have to cut it the moment it starts separating into layers. When I started the new diet, I noticed it started to grow all of a sudden! I had no doubt that it was the new menu’s doing because our nails show what’s going on inside us and generally indicate a bowel issue”
Margot continues to relay the shocking improvement she has experienced thanks to the test:
“My headaches didn’t disappear completely at the time, but were significantly reduced. If I used to have eight episodes a month, it went down to three. I was also suffering from an irritation on my thighs and from dry eyes, but now I know that gluten was the cause. That’s one of the items I was found sensitive to.”
In all accounts, my health was improving but after I started reincorporating the foods into my diet, it became harder to stay on track. I have the most trouble with gluten and I need to find a solution for that.” Margot confesses.
“I want to have a variety of foods to choose from just like everybody else – so if I feel like having a pastry I’d have that option. When I don’t have any food handy, what I do have is the bakery by my house, I have to fake it, really fool myself – I even bought the right gluten-free flour now and I’ve been making myself bread and muffins. I recommend this test to everyone, because there’s one thing I know for sure – I’m finally on the right path”.